There is so much amazing news developing about black writers this evening — this month, this year — that I can hardly keep up. But after coming across a moving video of author Tomi Adeyemi acceding to tears of happiness while holding the first copy of her debut, I’d be remiss not to share this moment with you all, too.
On Tuesday (February 6), the Nigerian-American twentysomething shared a candid moment on Twitter when she found herself speechless and overwhelmed with tears while unwrapping the first copy of her highly-anticipated debut YA novel, Children of Blood and Bone.
Don’t really have words for this moment.
Have officially held my first book.
— Tomi Adeyemi (@tomi_adeyemi) February 7, 2018
“Don’t really have words for this moment,” the Harvard alum tweeted. “Have officially held my first book. I cannot wait to share #ChildrenofBloodandBone with you all in 30 days.”
Since its announcement, Adeyemi’s book, which was procured for publishing by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, has garnered widespread recognition, so much that it’s drawn comparisons to the likes of J.K. Rowling‘s beloved Harry Potter series for its approach to the fantasy genre.
However what may be the most defining and intriguing quality of the book that distinguishes it from its fantasy forerunner its relevance. Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, a soon-to-be series and feature film in the making — oh, you didn’t know? Fox 2000 already secured screen rights for a big-screen makeover! — has been slightly expressed as a Black Lives Matter-inspired ya fantasy.
The San Diego-based creative writing coach’s first installment is situated in West Africa and emphasizes the lead heroine Zélie Adebola, a young girl who comes to challenge the royal guard and sovereignty in order to restore magic to her people.
In her own words, Adeyemi has presented the core of the book is as stated below:
With magic, Zélie’s family could stand against the royal guard.
Her people wouldn’t live in fear.
Her mom wouldn’t have hanged from that tree.
Ten years after the raid that killed her mother and took magic away forever, Zélie Adebola has one chance to bring magic back. To do so, she must stand against a society built on the dark underbelly of slavery and corruption.
Danger lurks in this west-African inspired world, where lionnaires roam and beautiful villages built over oceans and forged in iron stand. But the biggest danger of all lies in the crown prince, who’s hell-bent on erasing magic for good.
“I want a little Black girl to pick up my book one day and see herself as the star,” Adeyemi scribed of the book on her personal blog. “I want her to know that she’s beautiful and she matters and she can have a crazy, magical adventure even if an ignorant part of the world tells her she can never be Hermione Granger.”
My cousin was the first to give me a glimpse of Children of Blood and Bone, and this was only a week ago. To my surprise, I recently received it as an ARC edition not too long ago, and so I’m even more excited than ever to pick it up soon. Although I haven’t read YA in a long time, I have so much faith in this book and all the indelible work I know Adeyemi has put into it.
Plus, I love supporting other black writers and writers of color when I am able, especially those who are in my same age bracket — that is exactly what keeps me going and motivated in my line of work!
Moreover, I am even more excited for everyone else to read Adeyemi’s book!